A Favorite Quote

"If you look the right way you can see that the whole world is a garden." from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Monday, May 30, 2011

Visiting Mt Cuba Center

Barley Mill Road in Greenville, De is the site of Mt. Cuba Center Inc., the former home of Mr. and Mrs. Lamont du Pont Copeland. This beautiful estate has become an educational opportunity of discovery. Over 1900 plant species, varieties, and cultivars on 600 acres of breathtaking gardens entice visitors into the world of conservation and native plants.

I traveled with the Pottstown Area Garden Club on a beautiful day last week to take a docent led tour of this inspiring Appalachian Piedmont regional garden. Down the “Woods Path” to the “West Slope” brought us upon a peaceful setting of ponds, water plants, and frogs. Each part of the garden was lovelier than the last. I hated to part from the idyllic setting next to the ponds. But back up the path we went past the meadow, the “Trillium Garden”, the “Lilac Allee”, and then onto the “South Terrace”.

Our docent was very knowledgeable about many of the native plants growing along the paths. We oohed and aahed at the lovely specimens and planned out in our minds where we might place such plants in our own gardens.

This garden is only open for group tours. You must call ahead and be part of a group of 10 or more to receive a guided tour. It seems to be located way out in the middle of nowhere and we were told that visitors to Mt. Cuba often get lost on their way in. The staff recommends that you follow the directions on their web site at www.mtcubacenter.org. You can visit their web site for more information about tours or call them at 302-239-4244.

I enjoyed taking photo after photo…more than I could share. But here are a few of some of the loveliest plants blooming that day.

Mountain Laurel getting ready to burst forth in beauty.
Each area of the garden can be a slighty different mini zone.  At a different spot this same plant is in full bloom.

This Maidenhair Fern looked beautiful in the woodland garden.

These Lady Slippers seemed to put on a sad face.

Looking through the branches a gorgeous dispaly of rhododendron.
Down by the edge of the pond Blue Flag were in bloom.

Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Pottstown Area Garden Club Flower Show

The Pottstown Area Garden Club 2011 Flower Show was a huge success. In spite of all the rain that continually cascaded over the plants all week, members of the club and residents of Frederick Mennonite Community still were able to harvest some beautiful blooms from their gardens.

The Pottstown Area Garden Club is celebrating its 75th year as a federated garden club. It is a member of District II/III of the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania and the Central Atlantic Region of National Garden Clubs, Inc.

Frederick Mennonite Community welcomed the club to hold their flower show at their beautiful facility. Many of the residents participated and had the joy of viewing the exhibits for two days. There were 6 design classes, 31 horticulture classes, 3 educational exhibits, 3 artistic craft classes, 2 commercial exhibits, 3 classes for the residents, and 9 youth classes.

Judges from other clubs in the federation came to the flower show to judge all the entries and make the awards. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and honorable mention designations were placed in each class. Some of the other awards and ribbons given were Arboreal Award, Collector’s Showcase Award, Award of Horticultural Excellence, Designer’s Choice Award, Tri-Color Award and Artistic Craft Award.

Club members did a tremendous job and I am so proud of them all. As I walked around taking pictures of the various displays I overheard so many positive comments by the residents. Their hearts were blessed by the efforts of the club to sponsor such a beautiful work of art and labor of love for them to enjoy; and for the public to have this learning experience of art and the garden.

My design in the Underwater category took 3rd place. I talked my grandson into participating in the youth artistic craft category and was so excited to find out he received 1st place in his age group. He loves doing crafts with his Mom Mom (me) but was very hesitant to try his hand at this craft.

I tried to get some fantastic photos but in the middle of taking pics my digital slr had major problems.  It needs to go in for repair work.  But I did manage to get a few...

My Grandson's decorated flower pot won 1st place in his age bracket.

This beautiful orchid, belonging to JoAann Waddell,  won a special award.
Gorgeous artistic craft in the class "Stepping Out"

Laura Huffman was awarded 1st place for her creative craft "Stepping Out".
Cheryl Avery had a lovely display in the "collections" category.

Chris Leskosky place 1st for her table design in the class "Golden Anniverary", functional table. I took lots more pictures but the camera wouldn't focus and the color wasn't way off.  What a dissapointment!  But I am happy to say to all who participated....Great job friends!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Upcoming Flower Show

     It is 6:45 am and it has been raining cats & dogs for at least the last hour.  I lay in bed listening to the rain and wondering how this will affect the upcoming flower show scheduled for today and tomorrow.  The Pottstown Area Garden Club is hosting a Standard Flower Show at the Frederick Mennonite Community this weekend.  There is no cost to come and enjoy the displays.  It is free and open to the public.  The hours are today, Fri, May 20 from 3:30 to 6pm and tomorrow, Sat, May 21 from 9am to 2pm.      When I submit horticulture in a flower show I usually harvest the blooms or cuttings the very day of the show.  That way the submission will be at its peak for the competition.  However, it has been raining all week and especially very heavy this morning.  I can't help but wonder if the rain has knocked all the blooms from the flowers and trees.  Is everything so water logged that it will be difficult to find anything for display?  Maybe some of our members went out and took their cutting late yesterday while there was a brief reprieve from the storms.
     I am axious to see what everyone comes up with.  We have to be there early to place our submissions and set up our designs.  I'll let you know what happens and hope to have some photos after the show has commenced.  Stay tuned for ..... the rest of the story.
     Some blooms in my yard yesterday...



                                                               Giant Allium

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spring is Here!

Spring is Here!

It’s been a tough winter. Lots of snow storms. And then rain that seemed to come daily. I haven’t been under the weather, just busy with work and family. Some of my family members had health issues and so I got bogged down with life and writing came last. So I have some blogging to catch up on!

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at a meeting of the Huntingdon Valley Garden Club. It was great to be with you ladies. We talked about Biblical Gardens and we visited Trudy’s neighbor’s garden and his artist’s workshop. He does beautiful sculptures out of trees and the most unusual renderings using corks from wine bottles.

Afterwards, one of your kind ladies took me to visit the gardens at Bryn Athyn Cathedral. This was a new spot for me. I had never heard of it before. It just so happens that this Cathedral is a National Historic Landmark with the most beautiful Biblical Gardens enveloping it like a designer’s ball gown. Each section of the garden corresponds to a spiritual doctrine taught in their church.

What a delightful day we had. The sun was shining with no clouds in sight. The dogwoods were blooming and I knew without a doubt that Spring was finally here!